A premium luminaire is as much about making a statement as enhancing the atmosphere of a space with ambient lighting. The timeless design of the classic chandelier, a staple of stately homes and premium hotels, never goes out of style. Contemporary chandelier designs, such as those of Rocco Borghese, are often referred to as lighting sculptures. Classic or contemporary, chandeliers will always present a challenge to those in charge of cleaning and maintenance.

In this guide, we explore the multifaceted world of the light lift. The benefits of installing a light lift are far-reaching, presenting a significant risk reduction to both maintenance staff and the chandelier itself.

Lowered Risk: The Light Lift Guide – Penny Hydraulics Ltd

What is a Light Lift?

A light lift is a self-contained winch used to raise and lower chandeliers and other types of luminaire or sculptures, providing easy access for cleaning and maintenance. More than a simple rope, a light lift is designed with safety in mind, adhering to stringent UK safety regulations, contributing to a safe working environment for employees.

Rather than incorporating a general-use winch system, lighting lifts are specially designed to completely obscure the winch mechanism. When a chandelier or high-level object is fully raised with a light lift, no mechanism parts are visible. The raising and lowering process can be controlled using a variety of methods to suit the chandelier and the environment in which it is sited:

  Wall-mounted push buttons
  Flying lead-style plug in remote
  Full radio remote control system
  Integration with all automation systems e.g., Crestron and Lutron
  Remote self-sustaining hand-crank
  Motorised winch

Lighting lifts can be used for both outdoor and indoor lights with a wide variety of applications. Used in sports halls and stadiums, museums and stately homes, retail units and breweries. Granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment, Penny Hydraulics light lifts are installed in several Royal Households across London, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

Light Lift Benefits

Lighting lifts deliver several wide-ranging benefits. First up, is safety. Anyone who has the task of working at height will know there are serious risks for both workers and their employers. The usual method to cleaning and maintaining objects suspended at height is to construct a scaffold tower or operate a MEWP (mobile elevating work platform) such as a scissor lift. Mechanical lifting aids, such as a light lift, eliminate the need to work at heigh entirely.

Beyond safety risks, access equipment comes with maintenance and training costs, such as PASMA certification. Furthermore, access equipment is disruptive to daily operations. Whether it be a museum or palace, the area must be sectioned off for the duration. With the help of a light lift, downtime is reduced to a matter of minutes. Less time and money spent on maintenance is a huge benefit to other areas of a business, freeing up employees to spend more time on value-adding tasks.

Lowered Risk: The Light Lift Guide – Penny Hydraulics Ltd

Installing a Light Lift

Like so many things in life, one size does not fit all. Most light lifts are tailored to the individual chandelier and the building infrastructure. In most cases, the supplier will oversee the light lift installation and commissioning process. Contact Suspension Units are installed to safely lock the chandelier to the ceiling when raised. At this point, the electrical connection is automatically made, and a ‘mechanical lock’ is formed which acts as a failsafe.

The lighting winch itself can be installed out of sight, usually in the space above the ceiling, but tends to vary from one chandelier to another. Depending on the weight and shape of the chandelier, a single or dual wire light lift will be employed behind the scenes. Operated by a remote, hand operated, or motorised winch, connected to the Contact Suspension Unit by a steel cable. A series of pulleys carry the wire cable along designated rope runs.

Once a light lift is installed, a single employee is able to easily lower the chandelier for cleaning and maintenance, in minutes. No need to build a scaffold tower. No risk to the chandelier. No risk to worker safety.

Watch Leeds Town Hall Chandelier Light Lift System Installation

Lifting Equipment Regulations

All lifting equipment is subject to legislation overseen by the UK Health and safety Executive. Refereed to as LOLER – Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations – which puts duties on both the installer and operator. LOLER extends beyond PUWER regulations which regulate the use of equipment in the workplace.

In a nutshell, only purchase lifting equipment which carries the CE/UKCA mark. Ensure the equipment is inspected in accordance with LOLER, by a competent person with inspection records maintained. In the event of a visit from the HSE, lifting equipment records would need to be presented in full.

Lighting Lift Applications

Light lifts are used in a variety of sectors to eliminate the risks associated with working at height and to improve productivity. Lighting is essential to safe and efficient operations in any industry and can take up a considerable portion of the maintenance engineers workload. From high bay lighting in a warehouse to high mast lighting in a car park, the benefits of lowering the maintenance job to ground level are hard to ignore.

Penny Hydraulics offer a range of light lift services from their headquarters in Derbyshire. UK manufactured and supported lifting equipment ensures customers have reliable, on-demand technical support. To keep our customers on the right side of the law, we offer annual servicing plans to maintain lifting equipment in line with LOLER.

Lowered Risk: The Light Lift Guide – Penny Hydraulics Ltd